Cursive and the Cognitive Connection
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Once when I was teaching at a local co-op, a student made a comment about not being able to read a thank-you note I had sent. He had to have his mom read it. I was astonished because I have always had beautiful handwriting in both cursive and print. Later I learned that he could not read it because it was in cursive!
This article explains the cognitive connection between handwriting and the ability to think and process information. This is important for adults, too, not just children.
Obviously, I type. Here I am on the keyboard typing this post, and typing is convenient. But I also do a great deal of handwriting and most of my class notes I take by hand. I have found out the truth of the claim that information is processed better when hand-written. Surely, it does take longer, but when I want to comprehend and retain information, I do not type it.
Kids will often complain about handwriting in the beginning. That is because their fine-motor skills are not yet developed. Their weak muscles get tired and will cramp. Just like your stomach muscles only get stronger through exercise, it is the same with our finger muscles.
Charlotte Mason advocated handwriting through copywork. (Actually, in her time, there were no computers anyway.) Copywork is one of the main features of a Charlotte Mason style education, which I embrace and advocate. Not only do students develop their muscles and handwriting ability, but they learn sentence patterns and spelling. Keep instruction short and make it fun with Cursive Writing Handbook for Kids: Jokes and Riddles for Grades 3-5. For teens, why not learn a little U.S. Government at the same time as learning cursive? Learning Cursive: Handwriting Practice Workbook for Teens: With Declaration of Independence, United States Constitution & Bill of Rights Copybook.
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